Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Customized Crayons

Coloring Outside the Lines
All four-year-old children love crayons. They also love to see their own name in print (“look mom, it says, ‘David!’”). Why not combine the two? My idea is simple:

Crayola should offer customers the opportunity to give its standard crayon colors unique names and then buy boxes of those specially named crayons. Just think about the look that would appear on little Billy’s face as he opens a box of eight “Billy Blue” crayons for his birthday. Or, maybe little Pauline’s favorite color is purple so her mom buys her a box of “Princess Pauline Purple” right before her first day of pre-school.

Just about every kid in America is required to show up to his or her first day of school with a box of crayons. How cool would your daughter be if she had a standard box of crayons AND a box of Gina Green crayons? If Gina gave a Gina Green crayon to every one of her classmates, she’d be the most popular girl in school.

But the customized color names don’t have to stop at children’s names. Crayons could be named for anything – your pets, your favorite songs, the von Trapp family children – anything is possible. You could buy a whole box of customized crayons with different names printed right on the side of the crayon.

Cash Crayons
I bet that a lot of people would be willing to pay a few bucks more for a box of crayons with a customized color name printed on them. Offering customized crayon colors would boost interest in Crayola’s crayons, and their sales would increase. People young and old would have a renewed interest in crayons. And overall, the world would be a more colorful place. (Yes, I said it.)

Add This to Your To-Do List
Often times, customized products are more fun to buy than their standard versions. How can you introduce customization into your products? What if you offered a menu item in your restaurant named after whoever is ordering it? Or, offer to customize Christmas ornaments in your store by writing the date in calligraphy on the back of the ornament. Apple used to customize its iPods by engraving them on the back, and cheerleaders have been customizing their clothing for years by printing their names or nicknames on the backsides of their sweatpants. Give it a little thought and I’m sure you can think of a way to personalize your products.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

A special thanks to my friend Jen Waters for inspiring this idea by telling me that as a child she was always jealous of her friend Kelly, who had a crayon named after her – “Kelly Green.” Hilarious!